I’m sure we’ve all heard of a prophet who has supposedly predicted some big event or who has foretold something ahead of time.
I personally spent many months studying out the prophecies of Nostradamus back in the late 1990’s.The further I delved into these supposed prophecies the more disappointed I became either due to their lack of specificity or due to their lack of clear fulfillment.
As many people, most often in the name of God, have been reported as predicting the future, the question in today’s blog is, does God speak through people in this form today? Is this still a chosen method God employs for giving us direction?
I will now lay out 3 points which summarise what I’ve discovered in researching this topic, which as always come from the scriptures.
1) PROPHECIES NOW CEASED
The Bible teaches in several places that there will be a time when prophecy will cease and appears to also suggest when.
“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.”
This is a messianic prophecy predicting the time and coming of the messiah, describing that he would put an end to sin. Along with his mission to atone for wickedness it states that God would choose this time (coming of Jesus) to seal up vision and prophecy.
“On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more,” declares the LORD Almighty. “I will remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land. And if anyone still prophesies, their father and mother, to whom they were born, will say to them, ‘You must die, because you have told lies in the LORD’s name.’
Again it appears that God’s chosen time to remove the prophets was the same time that he would remove sin and impurity. Clearly there is only one time that this could be referring to, the coming of our Messiah who took away the sins of the world.
1 Corinthians 13:8
“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease……but when the perfect comes the imperfect disappears.”
Although a specific time is not suggested here, this scripture just like the ones before seems to suggest that prophecies at some point will one day cease.
It is also suggested, with good reason that the term “perfect comes” is referring to Gods Word coming to us in written form. The Greek word used for perfect here is “Toteleion” which is in the neuter tense as oppossed to being in the masculine tense which would always be used when describing Christ. The most likely interpretation for this phrase “when the perfect comes” is likely to be, God’s written word as we have it today.
2) GOD STILL SPEAKS TODAY
Despite the above scriptures telling us that God will cease to speak to us through prophecy, scripture teaches that he still speaks today.
God speaks through his son Jesus Christ who is essentially the last of his prophets, as described in Hebrews.
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.”
God, it says here, previously spoke through the prophets but has spoken to us in a new and different way, he has now spoken through Jesus. The term “last days” would imply his new and final way of communicating his message to the world.
God also speaks through his Word and in fact the silence of prophecy as discussed is associated with the revelation of the written word (around AD95). If we have the written revelation of God containing the Words of Christ why would we need any more prophecy. The scriptures describe themselves as being all we need for life and godliness and that through them we are thoroughly equiped (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
So God speaks to us through his Word which contain the Words of his Son Jesus Christ and we have seen that he no longer needs to speak through a prophet. There is still however one thing I feel that needs to be said.
3) NOTHING IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD!
Despite the above comments I feel it would be wrong to say that God could never chose to speak prophetically again through an individual.
That all said, there is very clear criteria with which to test and prove the reliability of any such prophetic words.
“You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.”
We can see above that the test of whether a prophetic message is from God or not is proven by whether the prophecy comes true or not. This is not a possibility that it may come true, but a clear and specific fulfillment of the prophecy and that it comes true every single time.
This is what rules out many so called prophets such as the Oracles of Delphi, Jean Dixon and Nostradamus, they simply were not 100% accurate all of the time (more on this another time). God does not make mistakes, each tiny detail is fulfilled perfectly, and this complete and perfect fulfillment was the sign that God was behind it.
The other requirement is that the reported prophecy must match exactly the prophetic word that is already in our possession, namely the Bible.
I don’t have the space to get into each and every so called prophet, but when using the Bible as our standard, then every claim to divine prophecy falls down.
Along with not being clear and specific, the prophecies were often wrong with the character of the prophet not quite matching what one would expect of God’s chosen spokesperson. This is seem in the case of Muhammad who after marrying a multitude of women including a 9 year old child and being described as a mass murderer and rapist taught that it’s acceptable to kill in the name of God.
Clearly there are significant reasons to reject the testimony of such a person and this is were the character of Jesus appeals to just about anyone who has come into contact with him.
Are you looking for direction? Would you love to have God’s specific direction for your life? Give me a shout through facebook and I would love to share with you what God reveals about your life through his revealed and prophetic written word.
Please leave any other feedback or comments. Thanks